Jorge Elorza

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposed ballpark for the PawSox in Providence and the vacant so-called Superman Building might seem to have little in common. Yet both raise questions involving economic development and the possible use of taxpayer subsidies. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Andrew Roos, who joined Gina Raimondo as chief of staff in 2013 as she was gearing up for her successful gubernatorial run and who remained in that role for state General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, announced Tuesday he's leaving for an unspecified private sector job. In related news, David Ortiz, who has led communications at City Hall for Mayors Angel Taveras and Jorge Elorza, is joining Magaziner's staff as communications director.

Old stories have a way of cycling back into the news in Rhode Island, and this otherwise quiet week was a case in point. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to return Thursday from a trip scouting economic development ideas in Guatemala.

Elorza and the city’s economic development director have met with Guatemala’s president and the mayor of Guatemala City during their visit. A spokesman says ports development has been among the topics of discussion.

Elorza is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and he grew up in the West End of Providence.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

John Bender / RIPR

The city of Providence has closed all of its public pools, just days before they were supposed to shut down for the season. The closures come during a late summer heat wave.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Opponents of a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence say they have gathered enough signatures to ask the City Council to effectively block the proposal. They plan to pursue that approach when the council returns from its August recess next month.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawyer, commentator and former attorney general Arlene Violet joins Political Roundtable this week 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Providence firefighters’ union said it plans on Monday to ask a judge to vacate the city’s landmark 2013 pension settlement with public safety unions.

Paul Doughty, president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 799, said the request is a response to a legal maneuver last week in which the city argued Local 799's current contract is void and unenforceable.

Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. There's plenty of news, even in the peak of summer, so we're ready to dive in. Your tips and thoughts remain welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave ask Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza about the city's decision to remove pension investments from a group of greenhouse gas-producing companies.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The City of Providence plans to increase firefighters' base pay by eight percent as part of the slated Sunday implementation of a different platoon structure meant to reduce overtime spending by millions of dollars a year.

During a Friday afternoon news conference, Mayor Jorge Elorza said firefighters can get a more generous pay increase -- 33 percent --- if they agree to a plan to increase their average weekly hours, from 42 to 56.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The City of Providence is arguing that the Providence firefighters' union can't use arbitration to fight the looming implementation of a money-saving shift-change plan 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Paul J. Thomas, who was fired in 2012 as Providence's director of public works, is suing Mayor Jorge Elorza, his predecessor, Angel Taveras, and City Council President Luis Aponte -- among others -- in a claim alleging he was let go because he refused to hire or promote two unqualified individuals.

After six months in office, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has finally appointed an economic development director: Mark Huang, a San Francisco energy developer who also has a military background and worked for General Electric and was involved with start-up firms in sustainability-related sectors.

``I am pleased to welcome Mark to Providence and excited to work with him to craft new economic development opportunities,’’ said Elorza in a statement.

RIPR FILE

The City of Providence has rolled out a new initiative to implement the city’s sustainability plan, aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. The initiative has a strong focus on community outreach.


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